Facts for the Visitor

US citizen: No visa required, visitors permitted to stay 90 days.
Japanese citizen: No visa required, visitors permitted to stay 90 days.

Language Skills Needed
Many people speak English, but a Hungarian phrasebook is useful.

Cash Machines
Available everywhere in Budapest. Most are on the Plus and Cirrus networks.

US$ 1 = 300 Hungarian Forint (Ft) on September 20, 2000.

220V, 50Hz. Plugs have 2 round pins.

International Certificates of Vaccination are not required.

Up to 10% paid directly to the server is customary.

In addition to hotels and youth hostels, rooms at private houses are available. Unfortunately, finding a private house is a chore. Information Offices that supposedly provide such information may claim that they only book hotels. One Information Office attendant accused staff at other Information Offices of being reluctant to provide private house information because they receive kick-backs from certain hotels and hostels. Although people offering private rooms hover around Budapest train stations looking for newly arrived tourists, guidebooks warn against trusting them.

Luggage Storage in Budapest
There are left luggage offices at: Erzsébet tér bus station, Népstadion bus station, Keleti train station, Nyugatit train station, Ferihegy Airport Terminal 2B. In addition, there are coin lockers at Déli pu train station.

Public Telephones
About half of the public telephones accept coins. The other half accept pre-paid telephone cards. None of the phones accept both.

Public Transportation in Budapest
Ticket prices are confusing to a short term tourist. Prices vary depending on distance, transfer needs, and time duration. Fines levied on travelers without a valid ticket are steep relative to ticket prices. Tickets are randomly checked by transportation security who demand payment of fines on the spot.

Better alternatives are the 1-day, 3-day, or 7-day travel cards that allow unlimited travel on all public transport within the administrative boundary of Budapest. Single ride tickets, books of 10 or 20 single ride tickets, and multi-day tickets can be purchased at metro ticket windows, kiosks, and newsstands.

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